Tencent will Expand Facial Recognition for All its Video Games

Tencent’s controls over online games come amid Beijing’s call to protect health related issues.

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China’s Tencent Holdings will expand a dependency prevention system for underage players in all of its video games; the company said as the industry faces more scrutiny in China.

A “healthy play” system that includes daily time limits and facial recognition checks already in use in Tencent’s most popular mobile game, “Honor of Kings,” will be applied to nine other mobile titles this year and expanded to cover all of Tencent’s video games next year, the company said in its official WeChat account.

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The move marks Tencent’s latest attempt to meet the Chinese government’s call for stricter controls to combat video game addiction and increased myopia among young people. In August, a state announcement urged the regulator to control the number of new online games and limit the amount of time young Chinese spend playing.

Tencent, the world’s largest gaming company in revenue, faced regulatory hurdles this year and Chinese officials have not approved new games since March. Without approval for in-app purchases, Tencent was unable to make money on some of its most popular games, such as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Mobile (PUBG Mobile), which CLSA estimates will generate about $1 billion in annual revenue if it gets a license monetization.

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